Pros and cons about consolidating credit cards
If you owe more than half your gross income or if you can’t expect to pay off the debt within five years, then you should seek a debt management plan through a credit counselor or consider filing for bankruptcy.Debt consolidation allows borrowers to roll multiple old debts into a single new one.Ideally, that new debt has a lower interest rate that makes payments more manageable or lets borrowers pay off the total more quickly.Others succeed because debt consolidation is part of a bigger plan to gain control over their finances.So the first step in debt consolidation is simply to consider whether it will actually work for you.If you are consolidating debt just to get a lower interest rate without really knowing how you’re going to pay the debt off, then you are simply moving the problem around instead of facing it.You’ll have to change the behavior that got you into debt in the first place. Take a close look at your income and expenses and ask: If you answered “Yes” to either of these questions, skip down to read about your debt consolidation options.
Many people try debt consolidation, but not all emerge better off.
Some borrowers wind up in worse shape, either because they run up their credit cards again or because their debt remains overwhelming despite the better repayment terms.
Ask yourself a few questions to see if debt consolidation is really what you need: Am I serious about paying off my debt?
Consolidation works best as part of a larger plan to become debt-free; it shouldn’t just be a way to buy some breathing room.
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